New data suggests yoga & meditation can help cure cancer

I am pleased to see more and more articles verifying the positive and healing impact of yoga and meditation on the human body.

This just in from Canada

Evidence to suggest that meditation alters cancer survivors’ cells

Sadashiva Pai, PhD, MBA Founder and CEO at Science Mission LLC

Researchers in Canada have found the first evidence to suggest that support groups that encourage meditation and yoga can actually alter the cellular activity of cancer survivors.

Their study, which was published in the journal Cancer, is one of the first to suggest that a mind-body connection really does exist.

The team found that the telomeres – the protein caps at the end of our chromosomes that determine how quickly a cell ages – stayed the same length in cancer survivors who meditated or took part in support groups over a three-month period.

On the other hand, the telomeres of cancer survivors who didn’t participate in these groups shortened during the three-month study.

Mindfulness-based cancer recovery and supportive-expressive therapy maintain telomere length… onlinelibrary.wiley.com

Mindfulness-based cancer recovery and supportive-expressive therapy maintain telomere length relative to controls in distressed breast cancer survivors – Carlson – 2014 – Cancer – Wiley Online Library

Holiday Greetings and Abundance for 2014

Solstice Fire

Solstice Fire

Happy Holidays Everyone

As we turn the corner from darkness to light, we look to the New Year and see so many opportunities for expansion and fulfillment.

River Tree Yoga continues to grow, serving an enthusiastic population of yogis who love the woods, nature and their practice in equal measure.  Yoga in the Pond Room has become a haven for many and our workshops an inspiration for all.  I will continue to teach Wednesday nights 6:30-8:00pm, and alternating Saturday mornings at 9:30am.

Mark you calendar for January 19th, 1:00 – 4:00pm for Foundation for a New Beginning, the first workshop of the year will focus on Ten Fundamental yoga poses – perfect for building your home practice and/or deepening your understanding of the poses you see so often in class.

Village Green Yoga has also expanded, adding more teachers and opportunities for learning across a broad range of yoga styles and techniques.  My classes continue to be popular with students frequently coming early to reserve their favorite spot.

  • Sunday Morning Vinyasa has grown to become such a warm and nurturing community of yogis, that we all look forward to the weekend, just so we can spend our Sunday mornings together yoga-ing, laughing and healing.
  • Monday & Wednesday morning’s Hatha Integration Class is the workshop class for the studio.  Come and explore your favorite asanas, practice pranayama and meditation. Study and Inquiry are the hallmark of this alignment-based class. So much to learn, so many ways to deepen.
  • Tuesday & Thursday Mid-Day Bliss/Gentle is just exactly that; a gentle exploration of posture and breathe, which is massages the mind, body and spirit. An hour of movement in the middle of the day – a beautiful way to renew and inspire.
  • Tuesdays and Thursday Evening Vinyasa Flow is a steady and playful sequence tuned to some awesome vibes, designed to get the heart rate up and the stress out.

I offer to all a bow of gratitude for your continued  support throughout the years.  It has been an honor and pleasure to be your teacher, as you continue to be my muse.

May the blessings of the season and the twinkle of bright lights bring joy and peace to you and your loved ones.

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

A Practice of Gratitude

Dear Seattle Yogis,

Seriously, how can Thanksgiving and Chanukah be in two weeks?  That’s not possible.  Okay, maybe it is, because they have a bunch of Turkeys, Christmas stuff, and even a Chanukah gift basket for sale at  CostCo, and there have been numerous articles saying that this won’t happen again for another 70,000 years. If you want more details on why this is so, click here.  Anyway, I doubt I will be around in 70,000 years, so I had better make this year’s co-joined feasts both phenomenal and memorable.  And so, I find myself thinking of turkey and stuffing and latkes and pie and family logistics.  I notice that I am already feeling full and maybe a bit overwhelmed.  Anybody else out there feeling this way too?

The good news is that I will be offering a new and  inspirational workshop next Sunday at River Tree Yoga. This one is specifically designed to help you get ready for the holidays. Come to this workshop so you can be truly open and present for the bounty you are sure to consume, both physically and emotionally.

A Practice of Gratitude
November 24th
1:00 – 4:00pm

Welcome the Holidays with this Essential Heart Opening practice featuring live music by Tova Ramer and Friends.

This workshop features heart-opening asanas such as backbends to help you open more fully to the experience of the holidays and digestive asanas to help with you process the physical and emotional  abundance of the season.

Our flow will be beautiful and deep and enhanced by the sweet sounds of live kirtan.

Open to students of all levels.

River Tree Yoga
6922 Preston-Fall City Road
Issaquah, WA, 98027

$40/student, pre-registration strongly recommended.
Workshop limited to 15 students

Contact Diana Bonyhadi to sign up
425-765-3173
Diana@KharmaBellaYoga.com

So Many Yoga Books – How to choose?

Happy Friday Yogis.

 

I hope it has been a good week for you.  Mine has had its share of ups and downs, including a most unfortunate auto accident.  Now I get to practice my own best advice.  Breathe, rest, ice, careful alignment and good posture.  I guess the positive is that as a result of the accident, others around me, are being more careful in their own driving practices.  My husband is convinced that as a result of my accident, he was saved from having one himself, as he was now being more present and cautious at the wheel.

Students in my classes at River Tree Yoga and Village Green Yoga continue to inspire me. This week I was honored by a guest at Tree House Point/River Tree Yoga who said her practice with me on Monday was the best addition to an already perfect vacation.  I figure that is a good thing, seeing as the next part of her vacation was going to need some modification – no she can not go to Mount Rainer.

I just came upon this book list from an article published on YogaJournal.Com.  Many of my students ask me for my recommendations on what to read.  I think this article does a remarkable job of listing and describing some of the best resources in the yoga book world.  This is by no means comprehensive and some of my favorites are not listed, but it is a good start.

One more thing.  Here is a beautiful video of Vladimir Horwitz playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto #23.  It is fun, it is inspiring, and heart warming.  I must say that in many ways this man is a true yogi.  He is so present, skillful, learned, humble and joyful.  Enjoy!

 

Happy Weekend Yogis

Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

 

Happy Spring & Happy Backs

250px-Chinese_Wisteria_BlütentraubenHello Yogis and Yoginis.

Happy Spring.  We have had so much sun here in Seattle it almost feels like Summer.  But I’m not fooled, I know we will get a bit more rain to ensure the lushness of our gardens and forests. Oh but isn’t it beautiful here in the Springtime. This picture is of the Wisteria in my garden – Wow.

And in case you are one of the many who has suffered from allergies this Spring, the hot sunshine these past two weeks should have helped to clear out the last of the pollens, and you should be feeling much better.

A big thank you to my students for their support and understanding last week when my back decided to bail on me.  Getting out of bed, off the floor and out the door was almost more than I could handle, but your kindness nourished me and I thank you. Once again I am so grateful for my yoga, as I know that is what helped me move and return to wellness so quickly. Well that and plenty of rest and ice.  For those of you who also suffer from periodic low back pain/trauma here is the yoga sequence I used.  I did this cycle gently at least twice a day.

Low Back Care Sequence:

  • Low back massage while lying on your back, knees drawn to chest, move knees in small circles, first one direction, then the other, and then in opposite directions.
  • Pelvic lifts while lying on your back with feet on the floor, gently curl tailbone up towards ceiling.
  • Alternate leg extensions while lying on your back with knees into chest, reach one leg away, lower slowly towards the earth (stop if it hurts), pause, then change legs.
  • Arm extensions while lying on your back knees bent, feet on the floor, reach arms over head.
  • Supported low bridge with arm extensions. The first couple of days I just used a book, then as my back began to recover I moved up to a block.  I also explore lifting my legs in the air for a variation of shoulderstand.  At first I could not lift my legs, but after a couple of days, having my feet in the air was very restful.
  • Cat-Cow – very slowly.
  • Supported child’s pose – put a bolster under you and rest with a softly rounded spine.
  • Leg extensions from neutral hands and knees.  Extend one foot out behind you keeping the foot on the floor, toes tucked, reach through heel. Perhaps even extend opposite arm forward.  Continue to draw belly towards spine.
  • Supine thread the needle. Lie on your back, bring both feet off the floor, knees over hips, cross left foot over right knee, reach through legs, and gently draw right thigh towards you while pushing left thigh away.  You can also extend the right leg straight up. towards ceiling. Do both sides.
  • Happy Baby. Lie on your back, bend both knees and draw them into the body and then beside the body, hold onto the soles of your feet with the soles of your feet facing the ceiling.  Extend back body along the ground.
  • Plenty of rest on your back with legs resting on bolsters, knees bent, and/or legs up the wall.
  • Ice ice baby

Summer News:  Starting July first, I will be taking a semi-sabbatical from teaching for two months.  We have found some wonderful subs to cover my weekday morning and evening classes at Village Green Yoga.  Meditation Circle will continue on Thursday evenings at 7:00.  So do keep your practice up and check out these amazing teachers.  I will continue to teach my:
Sunday Salutation Class         9:45 – 11:15,
Midday Bliss Class,                  Tuesdays & Thursdays noon – 1:00pm.

Enjoy these glorious Spring days.  I look forward to seeing you on the mat and around town.

 

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

Early Morning Inspiration

Good Morning.

I was wondering what to write about today.  Vacation?  Yes, I highly recommend it.  Family?  Definitely worth cherishing.  Yoga?  Keeps you limber and strong, is good for your blood pressure, joints, and mood. Meditation?  Yes, do it every day to find out more about yourself and to help you deal with the challenges life throws at you.  Okay, covered those topics, what to write about?  And then I found this video of a young woman in South Africa.  She brought smiles and tears to my eyes.  I hope you enjoy her as much as I did.

http://youtu.be/BPszAxLjFSs

 

 

Our Greatest Fear —Marianne Williamson

it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other

people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson

 

 

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

Issaquah, WA

Martin Luther King Day and the Path of Yoga

My goal in teaching yoga is to help my students to live their yoga beyond their mats.  Yes, yoga will make you stronger and more flexible.  A regular practice will help you to heal the pains of your body. A regular practice can help you to overcome illness and recover from injury.

And, I firmly believe that yoga is more than just an aerobic practice.  It is more than just exercise.  Through yoga we learn to reach deeper into our true selves.  We sweep away the fog from our awareness and find our own paths to strength and truth. We allow ourselves to soften so that we may ease our way into the fundamental strength of our core of true being.

If we allow ourselves to become more flexible upon our mats, then don’t we also find a way to be more flexible in our daily lives?  If we allow ourselves to become stronger on our mats, then don’t’ we also then find more strength to live our daily lives?  If in our practice we find we have more endurance, more will power, more self-awareness, then don’t those also walk with us beyond the studio?

  • What is your dream?
  • What are you willing to stand up for?
  • What are you willing to sacrifice for?
  • What is your truth?
  • Where is your strength?
  • Where can you be more flexible?

As you practice today, let these questions be at the forefront of your awareness.  As you step onto your mat, ask yourself, why am I here?  What is important to me?  What truths do I hold to be self-evident.  Where am I willing to apply my strength?  Where am I willing to soften and be more flexible?  What can I give to bring peace and healing, not just to my self but to my greater community.

As you practice today, reach out to the strength and vision of those who have come before us and shared with a vision of peace and community.  Allow yourself to be inspired.

Shalom & Namaste,
Diana Bonyhadi
Issaquah, WA